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Travel experiences

Behind the scenes at the Hotel Juan de la Cosa

9th October, 2019

When it comes to traditional Spanish hospitality, delicious food, and breathtaking settings, look no further than the Hotel Juan de la Cosa in Santoña. We’re sure that our guests will quickly feel right at home at this family-run hotel, all thanks to the wonderful team that works there.

Owned and managed by the Santillana-Astuy family, the Hotel Juan de la Cosa is the perfect base from which to explore the magical local area. We went behind the scenes at the hotel and interviewed Margot, who owns and manages the hotel, and our Saga Host, Belén, who works closely with her.

As a family-run hotel, what do you pride yourselves on?

Margot: Well, mainly the gastronomy and the family feel. I am the fourth generation working in hospitality, and my son, who is helping us now, Felipe, he is the fifth generation – so there must be something in the blood!

What would you say is the hotel’s main highlight?

Margot: I think the main highlight is Belén – we work as a team, and we have a good relationship. She is very professional, and she knows everything about the local area, which helps the hotel and the guests to mix with the atmosphere and experiences that we have around us, not only the gastronomy.
Belén: I would say it is the position of the hotel, you’ve got the beach and you’ve got the mountains.

What do you do to enhance your guests holiday?

Belén: Well, for me, the most important thing are the guests, they are very special to me. As we work as a team, I couldn’t work without Margot. We believe that holidays are very important for the guests. We’re going to be part of their life, so I treat them as I would like to be treated when I go on holiday. I like to speak with every single guest and find out what they are looking to get out of a holiday. If guests want to come to put their feet up and read a book, perfect. If they want to come to see the views and visit the local area, perfect.
Margot: We are very flexible, and we adapt. Belén adapts the schedule of activities each week. If we have a guest who’s interested in birdwatching, we will make sure they have whatever they need. If there is someone who’s interested in history, Belén will amend the programme for them. We have some optional excursions, such as Santillana del Mar and the Altamira Caves, with prehistoric paintings and so on, and the medieval town with cobbled streets. Saga also organises an optional excursion to Picos de Europa, which is very interesting for people who have an interest in natural reserves. We also have another optional excursion which goes to Bilbao, and is great for those who like shopping or Modern Art. All of these are very different.

You have a lot of guests who return year after year. Why is that?

Margot: You can see that we always remember them. All of the waiters remember them – even if they have only come once before. It’s such a small, family-run hotel, so everybody knows each other.
Belén: We like to make the guests feel at home.
Margot: From the very first moment they arrive, we’ll ensure everything reaches our guests’ expectations. We’ll adapt the room, the hotel, the experience to their needs. If they’re expecting something, we will try to meet their needs. Sometimes guests will arrive and notice that we have a natural beach and there are no sun loungers, but we have some spare seats which can be taken to the beach, so we can try to meet every single need.

Experiencing a slice of Northern Spain with Saga Travel

Finally, Margot wanted to emphasise the incredible vibe that the Hotel Juan de la Cosa offers visitors, and the opportunity to see a whole new side to this popular country.

The main thing is that we are very keen to show guests our Spanish culture and where we’re located, including the difference between the north and the south of Spain.
We are in a very green area, very wet sometimes, the weather is very changeable, but we also have a very different type of culture – this is quite important for guests to know before coming here.

To find out more about the Hotel Juan de la Cosa, or to discuss your upcoming holiday plans in more detail, get in touch with one of our friendly team members today.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.